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Ashes I

 
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MrChris
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PostPost #1  Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 2:37 pm    Post subject: Ashes I Reply with quote Back to top

Okay, I know that a lot in this song is fairly obscure...but. We do know there's some anti-Hussey stuff in there, as with other songs on Floodland ('I'll be picking up your petals in another few hours', 'stolen guitars', etc).

But I was just reading through the lyrics, as you do, when I was struck by how violent some of the imagery was. Or could be interpreted as. Particularly, this:


'Push the glass, stain the glass, push the writer to the wall'.


This can, as always with AE, be read in a number of ways. For example, we have the ever-present religious metaphor (stained glass), the idea of trying to work something through via the writing process, fighting to express yourself ('Sitting here now in this bar for hours, trying to write it down').

But the thing which struck me most, which had never occurred to me before, is that the line above could also be read to mean bottling someone, pushing the glass in their face, staining it with their blood, pushing this writer (we can guess who he is) up against the wall. Quite a brutal, graphic revenge fantasy. Can anyone else see this, or is it just me being psychopathic?
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PostPost #2  Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You mean Flood 1, not Ashes 1? Question
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PostPost #3  Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I take it you mean Flood I, Mr Chris. Wink

I've thought a lot about the lyrics in this one, but not that particular line specifically. What was it Andrew said: The problem with 'Flood I' is that it was written in a certain state of mind, shall we say, and I haven't visited that place again. You know...altered states.

You are probably right in that it is a violent song. Slow, dreamy and violent.
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PostPost #4  Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've always seen it as a violent revenge fantasy meself, so I agree with your interpretation. It also has an echo in Hussey's "sell me down the river" line in Beyond the Pale, but I'm probably reading things into this that aren't meant to be there in the first place.
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PostPost #5  Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 4:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Ashes I Reply with quote Back to top

MrChris wrote:
Okay, I know that a lot in this song is fairly obscure...but. We do know there's some anti-Hussey stuff in there, as with other songs on Floodland ('I'll be picking up your petals in another few hours', 'stolen guitars', etc).

But I was just reading through the lyrics, as you do, when I was struck by how violent some of the imagery was. Or could be interpreted as. Particularly, this:


'Push the glass, stain the glass, push the writer to the wall'.


This can, as always with AE, be read in a number of ways. For example, we have the ever-present religious metaphor (stained glass), the idea of trying to work something through via the writing process, fighting to express yourself ('Sitting here now in this bar for hours, trying to write it down').

But the thing which struck me most, which had never occurred to me before, is that the line above could also be read to mean bottling someone, pushing the glass in their face, staining it with their blood, pushing this writer (we can guess who he is) up against the wall. Quite a brutal, graphic revenge fantasy. Can anyone else see this, or is it just me being psychopathic?


nice train of thought Mr C. Cool

ties in with a distant memory that von was bottled once!! sure I read that somewhere. will try to find it tonight Confused

but in his own words Flood 1 was getting ready for sex, meeting up in pub et al.

Flood II doesn't need too much thinking about

"and her hallway moves" indeed Our fearless leader!
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PostPost #6  Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

copied from the world wide web

"Andrew Eldrich, Sisters Of Mercy frontman, chased after Josie Warden for a short time, until Brian Moss beat him up in Club Warehouse!"

somewhere, can't find it right now, i have it documented that glass/bottle was involved

Maybe the stolen guitars aren't a reference to Hussey Question because as far as i can workout TC is the only track with anti Hussey sentiment and anyway that track was destined to be a throwaway sisterhood track , before the bile and pomp and ceremony was added. Confused
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PostPost #7  Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Good point Khepri II, it always seemed a bit incongruous that Gift worked through the anti-Hussey bile, but by the end (Rain from Heaven) came to a mood of forgiveness and reconciliation, but that the bile was resurrected again on Floodland. But I'm still not sure who the stolen guitars refers to...I remember Von moaning that Hussey had stolen his hat...or is it something else, a Ziggy Stardust reference, or something? I'm, FAIRLY sure that there is some kind of Hussey connection, albeit indirect - the run-out groove on This Corrosion (boxed) reads 'I'll be picking up your petals in another few hours'..

I also remember the bottling story. When Patsy was thrown out of the band, one of her allegations, dunno who remembers this, was that the vain Von had had plastic surgery on his nose (it is a strange nose, and I know one of those when I see one). Von's explanation was that he had no choice, having been glassed. So yes.

Er, yes, I did mean Flood I of course, not Ashes I, whatever that is...*blush*...
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PostPost #8  Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

khepri II wrote:
copied from the world wide web

"Andrew Eldrich, Sisters Of Mercy frontman, chased after Josie Warden for a short time, until Brian Moss beat him up in Club Warehouse!"


Barbara Ellen interview in the NME 1988:

"--When was he last beaten up?

"Someone tried to take my eye out in Leeds once; I've got scars on it now. I didn't see them coming. Next thing I knew I got up off the floor with pieces of glass in my eye..."

--Does violence perplex you?

"No."

--Are you violent?

"Violence.. as I apply it is not physical."

--You indulge in...violent invective?

"I might use a violent vocabulary occasionally. And I might use it rather savagely...but I don't raise my voice. There's no point in raising one's voice in conversation."
"

http://www.spookhouse.net/tsom/decentbastard.html
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PostPost #9  Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"push the glass, stain the glass
push the writer to the wall
it may come but it will pass
some say we will fall
dream of the flood... "


I always had the distinct feeling of "waiting in vain for someone" in these sentences.

Andrew is waiting for someone (let's presume for a while that this person is female) in a bar or pub or whatever, waiting for a person that's already too late.
He's pushing his glass, out of boredom, turning it around in his fingers, toying with it ('staining the glass').
And while he's waiting he becomes uncertain about this person: is she to be trusted? He (Andrew, the 'writer' of the song) is mentally 'pushed against the wall'. She has control over the whole thing. He has to wait for her, not the other way around. An artist like Andrew is not used to that kind of thing (I presume that most girls swooned before him, and he didn't have to look actively for a girl).
"It will come but it will pass": the person he is about to meet also has certain feelings about Andrew. But Andrew, uncertain as HE is about this, also presumes it could be the other way around as well. He starts asking himself questions. "What if she suddenly decides not to come after all?" "What if the crush is over as sudden as it came over her?" We all know Andrew can be very uncertain about things, and that he is a control-freak. But this is a love-situation, something he has no control about whatsoever. And that makes him very nervous. So it could very well be she already has passed him by in the bar, she saw him and decided to leave anyway, uncertain about her own feelings.
"Some say we will fall, dream of the flood": sums it up quite well.
Andrew had a certain girl on his mind. Maybe he was not used to dating a girl (after all, not much is known about his love-life. Maybe he was a very shy guy, after all..) but he wanted to give it a try. Maybe he told some other people that he fancied this particular girl. Some of these people told him to go for it, others told he no good would come from this ("some say we will fall"). But anyway, Andrew was still in seventh heaven and daydreamt (is that a word?) about this one particular girl, and about having a relationship and, further on, sex with her ("dream of the flood").

Now there. Now you can lock me away for good.

IZ.
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PostPost #10  Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The next round of Valium is on Izzy. Surprised
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PostPost #11  Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Johnny Boy wrote:
The next round of Valium is on Izzy. Surprised


NOOOOOOOO!!!
Noo Prrrrrrreeecccccccciiiiiooouuusssssss for the ugly hobbitsssssesssss!!

'tis MINEEEEEEE!!!! ALLLLL MMMMMIIIIINNNEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

* gollum*


IZZZZzzzzzzzessssss.
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PostPost #12  Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I rest my case. Our fearless leader!
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PostPost #13  Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

MrChris wrote:
Gift worked through the anti-Hussey bile, but by the end (Rain from Heaven) came to a mood of forgiveness and reconciliation

I don't see that.
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PostPost #14  Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The rain from heaven of the title is mercy (according to Shakespeare, anyway). We forgive as we forget and all that.
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PostPost #15  Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

As the water flows over the bridge (We forgive as we forget)
As we walk on the floodland (As the day is long)
As we walk on the water (As the day is long)
We forget
We forget



We'll forgive as we forget, as the water flows over the bridge and we walk on water. It doesn't, we don't, and hence we won't.
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PostPost #16  Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Yes, I can see that it is ambiguous! Good point!
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PostPost #17  Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Interesting interpretations you have made there. I can honestly say I had never thought of it like that. Smile
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PostPost #18  Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I do like the idea, and I think it's a good gloss.. but there's also the tie in with NWN etc. that I've suggested before: "lipstick on the window pane". But I have to say that I like the violent interpretation better.

Cheers,
--G
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PostPost #19  Posted: Tue May 01, 2007 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I thought rain from heaven was a kind of , last sting.

Like "I'll forgive you, but just because I forget about you because you're nothing. " only forgiven when you're forgotten.
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PostPost #20  Posted: Tue May 01, 2007 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

MONDO THREAD NECRO!
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PostPost #21  Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Ashes...to ashes? Drugs, homage paid and religious reference in only one stone... why not?

"down the river down stream", "at the head of the river/ at the source of the sea" reminds me of Phlegias and the Styx - wrath? No... mind you! But it might be love as well...

The imagery related to eyes/view (lashes, tears, stars, backcloth) works (for me!) on both poetic and sadomasochist perspective... this may give some extra meaning to "surrender" - that seems to be oddly placed.

For I don't know which reason I've always related "It may come but it will pass
Some say we will fall" to May and Fall (idiotisyncrasy, perhaps...) Ah!... and (shame on me!) couldn't really disassociate the experience of listening to it from my first thought on World War I and II...


These three lines of interpretation - religious/spiritualist, sadomasochist and poetic(based especially on Dante) are my guesses...

However, two things have alwyas puzzled me with this song: the literal images are so strong it seems to me like a videoclip! and the song makes me feel seasick - and it's not a cheap pun!
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PostPost #22  Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Izzy HaveMercy wrote:
"
We all know Andrew can be very uncertain about things, and that he is a control-freak. But this is a love-situation, something he has no control about whatsoever. And that makes him very nervous.
IZ.


I absolutely agree with this (your whole post actually.... but couldn't fit it all in!!! Laughing )

I have always thought this was a gently-violent and rather vulnerable song. It is one of my faves and I love the way is pulses through you.
genius.
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